Whether you’re coming to explore Australia’s culture capital for its delicious coffee, its wide selection of restaurants, or to soak up the vibrant nightlife, Melbourne will surely become one of your favourite cities in the world!  While you should still do all the typical touristy things around the city like museums and walking tours, here’s a little information how you can experience the Melbourne like a local.

Getting Around

Explore Melbourne’s dynamic suburbs by bike. Trails exist all over the city including the Capital City Trail- which you find all of them at vicroads.vic.gov.au.  Cheap bike rentals are available all over the city, and it’s one of the more popular ways for transport around the city.

Otherwise, a MYKI card will get you onto one of the largest public transportation networks in the world.  All you have to do is pick-up one at a local 7-11 or newsagent, and top-it up with some credit.  Just make sure you remember to “tap-on” and “tap-off” at the beginning and end of every journey on public transportation.  If you feel like being a bit touristy though, you could always explore the city by a horse and carriage around the CBD!

Dining

Feast on dumplings at Shanghai Village in Chinatown for under $5 where BYO alcohol seals the deal. Browse the Queen Victoria or South Melbourne Market for local produce, meat, and artisan goods. Don Don’s close to Melbourne Central does Japanese fare deliciously and very cheap. Volunteer for a meal Lentil as Anything or pay as you wish! The best one is at Abbotsford Convent, a culture and arts hub. Enjoy the Australian Parma at Mrs. Parmas. Most pubs around the suburbs will have a cheap Parma or steak night as well! The best dessert can be found at Gelato Messina, with special flavours rotating weekly. Round up some new friends and barbecue in one of Melbourne’s many parks or on St. Kilda Beach. Find all the public BBQ’s at meatinapark.com.au.

Nightlife

Melbourne is famous for its rooftop and laneway bars, and there are venues to suit any taste. Section 8 and Rooftop Bar are favourites among locals and backpackers. The Black Pearl in Fitzroy is well-known for its cocktails. Everyone in Melbourne knows somebody who has had a Thursday-Sunday bender at “Revs”- Revolver Upstairs in Prahran. Make your own craft brewery tour- Mountain Goat, Two Birds, Temple Brewing, Moon Dog are good ones to start with. Many breweries will host tastings of one offs at Forrester’s Pub and Dining in Fitzroy. Catfish, also in the same suburb, has a unique tap list and knowledgeable staff.

Things to Do in Melbourne

Hit up Meetup.com and check out your interests – you may just end up at a salsa lesson or learning a new language! Watch a cricket game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Hang out in Federation Square where there’s always street entertainment or festival going on. Catch a live show at Northcote Social Club, The Corner Hotel, Yah Yah’s, or Howler. Get caffeinated in one of Melbourne’s many laneway cafes in the CBD or in every suburb! Melbourne is famous and unique for its street art scene and laneways- this is not to be missed! Take a walk through the historic State Library of Victoria and its 7 unique reading rooms. Grab some nibbles and get your shopping on at the Victorian heritage listed Royal Arcade. Meander through the Royal Botanic Gardens and Carlton gardens. Go to Fitzroy for its bohemian feel with funky shops and vibrant nightlife. Check ‘What’s On’ and the ‘Urban List’. The best way to live like a local in Melbourne is to keep up with the festivals and cultural events going on around the city. Finding a place to stay within Melbourne CBD will put you right in the centre of the action.

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